Can someone have PMS 7-8 years before puberty?
I ask this only because my four year old has mood swings of hormonal proportion. I love her to death, but there are moments when I would be happy to sell her for a song!
Megan was in rare form this weekend. With soccer season over, I thought that she would be a happy camper on Saturday when we didn't have to rush out of the house for an early appointment with the OBGC field. Instead, I woke to sounds of arguing and fighting before 7am. I heard Pat trying to shush both girls saying that I was still sleeping (with baby next to me). The girls had already managed to be banned from TV by 7:30AM and were supposed to be picking up the family room.
Megan HATES to do anything you ask her to do. She is one of those people who will swear the sky is pink, if you tell them it is actually blue. She will then screech at the top of her lungs declaring how pink the sky is and that you are MEAN for saying otherwise. I tried to give her the incentive of going with me to run errands if she straightened up and was "good". It worked, briefly and with constant reminders.
The girls and I headed out to run errands at the market where I pick up my "milk medicine" and then to Target. As soon as we walked into the store, Megan flipped out because she couldn't ride in the cart while the baby's car seat was there. She actually wanted me to leave Emma in the car so that she could ride in the cart. I had to pick her up off of the floor and offer a distraction of free grapes to get her to cooperate (thank God for food samples). Three grapes, two mini cups of some organic cereal with raisins, and 2 tortilla chips later, we were out of the store and on our way to Target. I thought we were over our hurdle of craziness, little did I know that it had barely started. Megan had a full-on, writhing-on-the-floor tantrum because I wouldn't let her ride the escalator by herself. Nothing like arguing with a pre-schooler in the middle of Target on a crowded Saturday afternoon. Normally, I would just pick her up and leave the store. unfortunately, with Sarah & Emma in tow, I couldn't easily do that. Somehow we managed to buy what we needed and I did not have to resort to bribery to do it.
As an early birthday celebration, Pat and I thought we would all go out to dinner. Megan was sure to let us know that she was not happy with our selection of restaurant and kept complaining, even as we started driving there. Sarah had her own unrelated issues going on. With both girls in tears, I realized it would be pure torture to go out. As I turned the car around to go home, the crying got worse. I had had it. Somehow it became my fault that my own birthday dinner was ruined.
Sunday seemed to be ok until after dinner. Pat took Sarah to swimming and I stayed home with the younger two. Megan immediately lost it. She wanted Daddy because "Daddy is her buddy". Things escalated, especially during bath time. Lots of tearful words about how she wants to be a baby, and how she wishes she was an only child. Being a middle child myself, this just ripped me to the core. I know exactly what she is going through, I went through it all 33 years ago. Despite a degree in psychology and a masters in counseling, despite all the preparation and personal attention I/we showered on her when the baby was born, despite my own memories, despite all my hard efforts to prevent this from happening, my Megan became my "tortured middle child". I don't know what more I could have done, but clearly it wasn't enough. there may not have been anything more that I can/could have done. However, I can't help feeling as though I failed her as a mom and fellow middle child.
After her bath, I occupied Emma with a toy, and got down on the floor with Megan. I scooped her into my lap and spoke to her softly, closely and genuinely. I wanted to be sure to tell her in terms a four year old can grasp easily, that there was no way I could ever love Emma more than her. I talked to her about some of the special things that only she and I share. We both cried and laughed and I felt good about it. I MUST find time to spend with each girl independent of the others. I am not sure where I am going to find the time to make it work, but it is an absolute must, for my sanity and theirs.